President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the government has provided over Rs 2 lakh crore for the development and refinancing of micro entrepreneurial units under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.

Addressing the joint session of the two houses of Parliament on the first day of the Budget Session, the President said that core of the government’s policies was welfare of the poor, Dalits, farmers, labourers and the youth.

“Social and economic equality for deprived sections is the first promise of our constitution, our government is committed to fulfil it,” Mukherjee said.

He also hailed the government for its Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana launched for promoting entrepreneurship education and training for seven lakh students.

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has been launched with a budget outlay of Rs 10,000 crore, he said.

“My government salutes the strength of janashakti (people’s power) and pledges to constructively utilise it in Rashtra Nirman (nation building),” Mukherjee added.

He also said the “favourable monsoon” supplemented by “farmer-oriented schemes” of the government has resulted in increased crop yields.

“A favourable monsoon supplemented by farmer-oriented schemes has increased the acreage and yield of most Kharif crops,” Mukherjee said while addressing the joint session of the two houses of parliament here.

“The sown area in the current Rabi season has shown six per cent increase in comparison to last year,” Mukherjee said.

The President also said: “My Government has taken various steps to transform the lives of our farmers.”

“Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana expanded ambit of risk-coverage, doubled sum insured and facilitated lowest-ever premium,” he said.

“Three crore Kisan Credit Cards will be converted into Rupay debit cards soon,” Mukherjee added.

President said the government is taking special initiatives to develop the North East region, including by developing railway projects worth Rs 10,000 crore.

“My government is taking special initiatives to develop the North East region. Special attention is being given to provide financial assistance with the ratio of 90:10 for the central Centrally Sponsored Schemes. For the Railways related development the government has already poured in 10,000 crore,” said Mukherjee addressing the joint session of Parliament.

For the first time in India the Union Budget will be presented on February 1.

Talking about other initiatives for the North East region, Mukherjee said: “Arunachal Pradesh has been brought in the Railway map.”

On the setting up of various new organisations in North East, Mukherjee said: “Organisations like Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited, Numaligarh Refinery and others are new projects which will create tremendous job opportunities in the region.”

He said the government will welcome any decision taken by the Election Commission on simultaneous polls to the assemblies and Lok Sabha, in consultation with political parties.

Addressing the joint session of the two houses of Parliament at the start of Budget Session, the President said the proposal of simultaneous polls needs to be debated as a move towards eradication of money power in elections.

“My government will welcome any decision by the Election Commission after consulting the political parties,” the President added.



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